|Pics: Mike H, who jumped out of the shrubbery, camera at the ready, just below the rock.|
PM: 10.5 miles track. Round two of Double Workout Tuesday comes 11 hours later at the track. On tap tonight was 800 open (5 min standing rest), then 4 x 800/300 with 100 jog after 800 and 400 jog after 300. I warmed up with three miles for this one to see if I could work out a bit of the gunk from the morning, but I was still having to work hard to get the legs to turn over as we got going. The first 800 felt terrible, but the next four came a little easier and felt reasonably comfortable, although I had to push in places to bridge up to Ben and Brian to stay on pace. Track was ridiculously crowded, which meant lane two, sometimes three, on many of the turns. Splits: 2:37 (5:30 standing rest), 2:34 (w/ 0:36 100 meter jog), :57 (w/2:46 400 meter jog), 2:34 (:40), :56 (2:41), 2:32 (:42), :56 (2:49), 2:35 (:44), :55.
Weds - AM: 8 miles (2,100) easy. A very easy jog up the hill with Stefanovic on a foggy, wet and somewhat cold morning. Erskine sighting (with Quad Rock Tee on) just under the rock for another two squares filled on my Horsetooth Bingo board. Back via Wathan.
PM: 5 miles (1,100') slow. Falls loop. Could have probably hiked this one quicker - super tired legs for the first couple of miles.
Thurs - AM: 11 miles (1,200') easy. Blue Sky / Indian Summer out and back with Lee, Mike and Brian in very pleasant running conditions: wildflowers are off the charts this season. Didn't feel much like pushing at all this morning, so kept the pace super easy for the first 7, and then notched a bit from Rim Rock and then a bit more from the two-mile fence, but a nominal tempo effort at best. Had the upcoming Pilot Hill race in the back of my mind the whole time, and with the legs still feeling groggy it was an easy decision to keep things in check.
PM: 6 miles (600') easy. Jogged out some stiffness on the valley trails from Sodeberg to Arthurs and back. Decided against a run up Towers for the usual Thursday TT as there was nothing to be gained with my legs feeling in need of rest for Pilot Hill on Saturday. Layered up in winter gear to try and get a bit of a sweat going.
Fri: 7.5 miles (1,800') easy. Very easy Horsetooth north summit via the north gap (79). Super breezy out. Legs were still a bit lethargic. Layered up again, but it's just not that hot out yet.
Sat: 17.5 miles (1,600') race. Pilot Hill Classic 25k. Another year, another win and another PR/CR (1:39:xx). Really quite happy with how this one unfolded, and pleasantly surprised to wake up with legs that were ready to go. Although a small-time race, this has served as my pre-Western gauge of fitness for two of the last three Junes, and fitness looks good. Results.
Sun: 28.5 miles (5,800') downhill work. After steamrolling down the unpredictable footing at Pilot Hill yesterday, we got on Storm Mountain Road for an entirely predictable uphill/downhill session on one of the more prominent ridgeline high points in the foothills to the west of Fort Collins/Loveland. Started out a bit sore and grumbly from the day before, but the legs were soon warmed up despite the pedestrian pace Mike and I were maintaining. I put Mike in charge of navigation, considering he's been up this route before, and predictably enough we made a wrong turn not far below the scenic Galuchie Park at the base of the grunt to the summit. Total detour was a bit over a mile, which allowed Alex and Abby to catch up, fortuitously allowing us all to share the wonderful summit together. Just a beautiful, clear and windless day out; a breath of fresh air after the whipping wind frenzy of previous days. I took off on the 9.5 mile descent back to the car, maintaining a comfortable up-tempo pace despite a bit of quad soreness from the day before. Turned around and jogged back up to the Longs Peak View pull-off at 4.5 miles or so and then ran back down fairly casually. Fun morning out on the hill in just beautiful early summer conditions. Attempted to sit in the Big T afterwards to cool the legs a bit, but the snow melt was way too cold for me. Lasted 20 seconds tops.
|4.5 miles up the hill you get a fantastic vista of Longs. And, yes, those are knee-length socks.|
|Summit shot w/Alex, Abby, and Mike. All pics: Mike.|
All signs seem to be pointing in the right direction at the moment. Fitness checks are looking good, legs are feeling strong, and the mind is in the right place. I'm thinking I may just have timed the Western-States peak right this year after missing it by a good month last year. Starting to feel quietly confident about the summer ahead with the work just about done.